Monday, May 27, 2013

The Farewell Speech

The Guthrie BFA hosts a private graduation reception at the theatre during the final weekend of performances. Some of what I said was very specific to that group of people in the room (teachers, classmates, underclassmen, families, friends, colleagues), all of whom are in the circle of my experience. As a result, I will share with you most of my farewell words to this four-year experience with some alterations.
It's a little rough around the edges, but most of this was off the tip of my tongue, and I've pretty much written the aforementioned selections of the recorded speech (thanks, Mom!) verbatim.
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I grew up with Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I had an extraordinarily difficult time loving myself as a human being and connecting with other people. But,  the other day, I'm sitting in my dressing room, and I'm working on a really special project that is a fulfillment of a longtime dream, and Jack Mackie, one of my classmates, is so supportive of it. And I'm thinking to myself, "Wow, I never would have thought, as a kid, that a cool guy like Jack Mackie would support me. And cool kids like Nate Cheeseman, even. I would have been so intimidated by them."

The best qualities of human beings are humility and empathy. Never strive to be the opposite. It is easy for all of us to get swept up in lies and gossip and pretentiousness because it is easier to do that than work at our best. Remember the beauty of seeing your classmates' hearts open and the beauty of them receiving your heart in return.